One common question from new bloggers is, "What is a blogroll?" Blogging brings with it a whole list of new terms and phrases and some of them can be confusing. The good news is that a blogroll is quite simple to both understand and integrate into your own blog.
What Is a Blogroll in Simple Terms
Simply stated, a blogroll is a list of links to other blogs. One of the reasons that the answer to the question "what is a blogroll" isn't obvious is because most bloggers don't title their lists as "blogrolls." Instead, the lists are called related blogs, recommended links, or another title that actually indicates what they are.
Blogrolls are usually found in one of the sidebars on a blog. They can be sorted alphabetically, or organized into categories.
Reasons to Use a Blogroll
There are numerous reasons why bloggers incorporate blogrolls into their blogs, including:
- Showcasing other sites the blogger writes for
- Giving readers an easy way to find related content
- Exchanging links with other bloggers who write on similar topics
- To encourage other bloggers to link back to them
- To link to other blogs that might be part of a network
- Promoting and sharing interesting and relevant content that the blogger enjoys
You can add more than one blogroll to your blog if you want to cover several categories or make certain link lists stand out.
Reciprocating Blogroll Links
Standard blogging etiquette dictates that, if you find you've been blogrolled by another blog, you should add a link back to that blog in your own blogroll. Likewise, if you include a favorite blog in your blogroll, it's perfectly acceptable to drop an e-mail to the blogger and mention the link, in hopes of a reciprocal link back to you. Reciprocal links drive traffic between blogs, and help with search ranking.
In some situations, you may not want to provide a link back to a blog, even if they have featured your own blog in their blogroll. For example:
- If the blog contains inappropriate, obscene, or otherwise tasteless or offensive content
- If the blog is full of spam and intrusive advertisements
- If you are not confident that the blog provides relevant, useful, or well-researched information
- If the blog is extremely new and you aren't sure it will be kept up
Adding a link to your blogroll as the result of a blogger's request or his own inclusion of your blog is a personal choice. In most cases it's polite to include the link if the blog in question is of good quality, but you are not obligated to do this.It's a good idea to go through your blogroll occasionally and check all the links. Make sure they are all in working order, and that the blogs you've linked to are continually adding relevant and useful content for your readers.
Adding a blogroll to your blog gives readers a sense of where you fit in your niche. If you write about low-fat cooking, for example, a blogroll containing links to other valuable resources about nutrition, cooking, and weight loss would all serve your readers and help them identify the topics you cover at a glance.
Blogrolls also promote a sense of community and allow you an easy way to get to know your fellow bloggers.
Well-researched links in your blogroll will open the door to other bloggers adding your link to their own blogroll, increasing visibility for your writing and bringing traffic to your blog. Getting links to your blog from high-traffic and popular blogs also results in a bump in search engine results, so people will be able to find you more easily.
Adding a Blogroll
If you want to expand your blogroll or don't have anything built-in, try BlogRolling.com for an easy-to-use system that supports multiple blogrolls in a single blog.